How to Make Speakers for a Turntable Out of a Guitar Amp

Written by robert j. smith
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How to Make Speakers for a Turntable Out of a Guitar Amp
A guitar amp will let you listen to records on a turntable. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

A guitar amplifier can amplify sounds from sources other guitars and, with a few simple modifications, that can include using a turntable to play your records. Keyboard and bass amplifier will typically work even better because they handle a wider frequency range than most guitar amps. But, as long as you're aware of the limitations and take care to avoid blowing the speakers, the guitar amp will help you give your record collection a workout.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Turntable with RCA outputs
  • Guitar amplifier
  • Stereo RCA male-to-male cable
  • Stereo RCA male-to-male 1/4-inch Y-adaptor

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  1. 1

    Connect the RCA cable to the RCA outputs on the turntable and connect the turntable's power cable to an electrical socket.

  2. 2

    Connect the RCA cable to the 1/4-inch adaptor.

  3. 3

    Plug the adaptor into the amplifier's 1/4-inch input jack and connect the amplifier's power cable to an electrical socket.

  4. 4

    Turn on the turntable and play a record.

  5. 5

    Minimise the volume on the amplifier and turn on the power. Adjust the volume, equaliser and any effects to desired levels.

Tips and warnings

  • Leave the turntable and amplifier turned off until all of the cables are connected.
  • Some amplifiers have additional inputs such as "line in" or "effects return" that can be used for the turntable if you want to plug your guitar into the main input and play along.
  • If you need multiple inputs for additional turntables, plug your equipment into a mixer and plug the mixer into the amplifier using the mixer's RCA or 1/4-inch outputs. Using a mixer will also allow you to send the output signal to multiple amplifiers.
  • Y-adaptors and RCA cables, also be referred to as phono cables, can be purchased from audio component stores and online retailers.
  • When using a guitar amplifier, keep volume and equaliser settings at moderate levels to avoid blowing the speakers.
  • Due to the reduced frequency range of guitar amplifiers, the sound may be affected negatively. Use the equaliser to compensate for any reduced treble, mid-range and bass frequencies.

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